Dem lawmaker calls bipartisan College Transparency Act a 'game changer' for higher education

Rep. Raja KrishnamoorthiSubramanian (Raja) Raja KrishnamoorthiMilley confirms soldiers deployed to DC amid unrest were given bayonets Democrats seek information on Treasury's administration of 'opportunity zone' program Biden campaign rips 'outrageous' Trump comments on coronavirus testing MORE (D-Ill.) is calling new legislation that would produce new data on program-level college student outcomes like loan repayment a “game changer” for families across the country.

"This is going to be a game changer in the sense that it’s going to spark those important conversations between parents and students about return on investment,” Krishnamoorthi told Hill.TV, referring to The College Transparency Act. The Democratic congressman is co-sponsoring the bill, which was reintroduced by Rep. Paul MitchellPaul MitchellHouse Armed Services votes to make Pentagon rename Confederate-named bases in a year Rep. Lloyd Smucker added to House GOP leadership GOP lawmakers say Steve King's loss could help them in November MORE (R-Mich.) in March.

Krishnamoorthi said choosing a college can often be an emotional decision but he hopes, with the new legislation, that families will be able to make more informed decisions about the right path forward, whether that's choosing a college or opting for a technical training program.

“We’re bringing some facts and statistics to the table and hopefully that will spark a more reasoned discussion because we need people to make the right decision so that they don’t load too much on student debt and then end up in careers that don’t fit their talents and aspirations,” he said.

Under the College Transparency Act, in addition to information on the general pricing for universities and degree programs, families would have access to a portal or database where they could learn about average salaries and statistics for all Americans, including minorities and veterans.

Mitchell said the bill also would help address another major concern — student debt. According to a 2018 Federal Reserve report, more than 40 million Americans carry student loan debt.

“We talk about the student loan issue — one of them is people are making bets — literally — with little information and hope that they get a career and we can fix that and we should and the information in many case exists, so it’s not a big burden on any institution,” he told Hill.TV.

Mitchell added the legislation has already received support from both lawmakers and educational institutions alike. He said the bill now boasts 30 co-sponsors in the House and has gained support from more than 166 outside groups.

“This is about consumer protection, it’s about having access to information to make wise decisions on a huge investment,” he said.

—Tess Bonn